This is our new view. I’m gliding over the fact that if you look directly out of our window, you’ll see the lovely (inevitable) fence of construction, as they tear down a low-income housing unit and build yet another apartment complex. And so let’s focus here to the west, where our tiny balcony overlooks the sunset and the Austin skyline. Lovely.
We’re pretty much all moved in now — boxes are unpacked, cookbooks are organized by color, and multiple drop-off trips to Goodwill have been made. So here we sit in our tiny new condo, reveling in the fact that outside our door, our beautiful Austin awaits. May we never take it for granted again.
This is what Little thought about the moving-in process. She’s never done this, but she hid under the covers for three days, until she was sure all was safe. Sweet, sweet kitty!
So we moved to Greenville, SC for a year. We did it for my job, because I wanted to be all-in, to not be the only remote person in the company, to be close to my CEO as we built the company from scratch. And so we built a company, and it turns out that it’s mostly remote, and so it would be totally fine for me to work from Austin. And so we’re moving back.
I do not regret moving to SC. We also had a short stint in Boston about 10 years ago, and I don’t regret that, either. In SC, I have gained new friends, seen the start of what promises to be an amazing food culture, lived in a fantastic loft with 20-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, and actually had a real autumn, with crisp air and gold and red leaves.
Now that we’re moving back, I am feeling so emotional and attached to Greenville. It’s hard to leave, and yet I know it’s the right thing for us. The truth is, we have been heartbroken and homesick for a year, and to soothe that, we have become homebodies who cling together and only venture out to feed those few connections we have made, with industry and work friends.
I am ready to be back in a place where I feel known; where I have seen the city change around me; where I am surrounded by like-minded people of every color and gender and religion; where my family is a short drive away. In ATX, someone there knows that I like my cocktail onion on a toothpick in my Gibson; someone there knows that I used to write books and manage chef events and cook for a living; someone there was present when I turned 30 and when I turned 40; someone there was in the audience at my first book signing, witnessed my first drunken New Year’s Eve, celebrated my 10th anniversary, knows my middle name. All different people, all important in my life. I can’t wait to get back to them.
Thank you, Greenville, for welcoming me as best as you could, for teaching me what is most important in my life, and for bringing me new friends, and a new home away from home. I’ll be back very soon.
For me, Christmas means family. There are often other lovely things – decorations, food traditions, music, the rare bit of snow – but mainly, it’s everybody gathering at my parents’ house, hanging out, and talking about memories and future plans and funny stories.
I should have taken photos of all of my mom’s Christmas decorations – every corner, every shelf had a bit of Christmas cheer. She also baked three types of cookies (the BEST chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar cookies) and a banana pudding cake, made several batches of spicy tamales and fresh flour tortillas, and fried up eggs each morning. How does she do all this?! No clue, but we love being spoiled by her. 🙂 (And kudos to my dad for my perfectly medium rare steak on Christmas Eve!)
This year, the whole family got to hang out. We played games, put together puzzles, and talked, talked, talked. The BEST.
Also, there’s this little gal:
My grand-niece is like the brightest star in the sky. She brings us all such joy with her imagination and silliness and cuteness. For me, she’s a mini-version of my niece, and her tiny voice reminds me of my nephew when he was just a little thing. (They’re both in their 20s now, how in the heck did that happen.) It simultaneously makes me feel old and young, and I love it.
Anyway, I am so glad we were able to spend a few days with my family before we make the move to South Carolina. I know we’ll be back soon, but I wanted to sop up as much family love as I could. Success. 🙂
Can you believe it? After 10 years with our beloved Little Pica (a 2008 orange Suzuki SX4), we finally bought a new car. Honestly, this only happened because we weren’t sure Little Pica would make it on the drive to South Carolina.
Still, we’re so excited for such a luxurious vehicle! By luxurious, I mean bluetooth, rear view camera, remote start, and (gasp) cruise control. This is what happens when you wait 10 years to buy a new car; the very basics become luxuries. 🙂
This is how I’m thinking of our new loft in Greenville, too – a DISHWASHER! A washer and dryer IN THE UNIT! A thermostat that WE CONTROL! It’s a life of luxury, I tell you. 😉
We were sad to say goodbye to Little Pica, but we’re excited to welcome Little Luka to our lives. (Yay, l’il blue car!)